As red-light camera trial run nears end, N.J. residents divided over continuing it

 (NewsWorks File Photo)

(NewsWorks File Photo)

The five-year New Jersey pilot program that set up cameras in two dozen towns to monitor red lights — and take photos of any violations — is set to expire in December. A new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll shows Garden State residents are divided on whether it should be renewed.

Just under 40 percent of those surveyed believe the red light cameras in 24 New Jersey towns should be shut downs, according to Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray. A third say they should be added to every New Jersey town, while 26 percent say the program should continue to be limited.

“It’s not clear if some of the people who say it should continue would be unhappy if it was only continued as a pilot program and just restricted to some towns,” Murray said. “Some see that as unfair.”

Towns with the red-light cameras say they improve safety, but the majority of residents surveyed believe they’re just another way for local governments to raise money.

Fifty-seven percent of drivers who got a red light camera ticket say it has not changed their behavior on the road.

The program “sunsets” automatically, so lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie would have to act to extend it. Christie has said he’s inclined to let it expire.

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